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Assignment: Central African Republic

I'm done with my studies in Texas and back in the North for a few months. Here's an update: New Assignment: Central African Republic

God has guided me through the process of deciding where to serve and  has led me to the Central African Republic (CAR). CAR is a country that’s about the size of Texas in the heart of Africa. I’ll be living in the capital, Bangui, working closely with the national translation organization that’s one of Wycliffe’s strategic partners. As I start out, I’ll serve by helping with linguistic analysis which lays the foundation for Bible translation projects.

One thing that has drawn me to the central part of Africa is the great need there. CAR has around 72 languages and around 53 of those have no Scripture at all.
Don't know a lot about CAR? Here's a video that will give you an intro to the country:
CAR Quick Facts:
Population: 5,000,000
Capital: Bangui
Number of Languages: 72
Number of Languages without scripture: 53
National Languages: French,…

Notes From Study Hall

I've finished the first 6 months of classes in Dallas. It's amazing how quickly it's flown by. Here are some things I've been up to: I've completed most of the classes required to start linguistics in languages needing a Bible Translation: Phonetics, Grammar, Phonology, Cultural Anthropology, Sociolinguistics, Second Language and Culture Acquisition, and Intro to Language Development. Whew! It's been by God's grace that I've made it through these courses.I've been attending a French-speaking African church for the last couple of months, learning about the culture, trying to improve my French skills, and learning to sing in several languages (French, Swahili, Lingala, Tchiluba, and English).There are several miles of beautiful trails around campus-a hike or a jog have made for a nice break from studying.In Second Language and Culture Acquisition, a group of us were learning Swahili to practice our language-learning skills. Some things coming up: I'…

1st session classes

I've been studying linguistics for about a month now. Here's what I've been learning about:
Phonetics "Boats" and spittlePhonetics involves learning the sounds that comprise human languages. A big part of my homework is trying to produce these sounds and paying attention to what my mouth does. I have mimicry quizzes where I have to try to repeat a phrase in another language making it sound as close as possible. We also have quizzes where we listen to words in other languages and have to transcribe them into the international phonetic alphabet.

The human's ability to make a multitude of distinct sounds to form a language and communicate is amazing. I never thought to praise God for all the various sounds in my language. God is very creative in all the ways he's given us to express meaning. He's also very gracious, because it's through these sounds that we hear and share the Gospel.

Fun tidbit: My phonetics textbook mentioned the MN/ND Scandinavian…

A Year in Review

This year was not what I would call "normal." About a year and a half ago, I started looking at Bible translation and became a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators in April. I would like to say that this has always been a dream of mine, but it hasn't. Up until about six years ago, my goal was to live and work overseas in Europe, having nothing to do with ministry and certainly not missions. It was God that gave me new goals. Now I couldn't be more excited about being a missionary. I will live overseas, but in an underdeveloped country, helping to translate God's Word so that he can be glorified among the nations. 
There are a lot of changes to come in 2017; for starters, my New Years will begin with a trip to Dallas to start linguistics training. Looking back, God has been so good to me this year, but I want to acknowledge that He's always been good. Even when I felt I had little to report or wasn't content, He was good. The lack was in my gratefulness, …

Dallas Bound

I wrote in my November newsletter that it was critical for me to be at 50% of my Wycliffe ministry budget by January in order to start linguistics training. A couple weeks later, God provided! He did it beyond what I needed and far sooner than I anticipated. "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV). I'll be packing my bags and heading to Dallas to attend classes at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics. I have orientation January 3-4 and classes start on January 5. I'll be in Dallas until mid-September. I'm so thankful for those of you who have already partnered in my Wycliffe ministry through prayer, finances, and encouragement. 

In Christ,

My Timeline

A common question I get when I share that I'm preparing to be a missionary in Africa is, "When do you leave?". If you received my September newsletter, this timeline might look familiar to you (if you don't receive my newsletters, you can sign up here). These are the various steps I need to take in order to start serving with my assignment in Francophone Africa

The next step is linguistics training which will help me gather and organize linguistic data when I get to the field. I'm looking to begin in January at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics in Dallas, TX. I need 50% of my Wycliffe budget in order to be approved to go (which is less than I anticipated). The training would take me about 9 months; that brings me to mid-September. After that, once I have 100% of my Wycliffe budget and am able to get together any visas and other preparations I might need, Lord willing, I can leave for the field.

The next available training doesn't start until Ju…

What does it mean to have the Son?

Whenever I move, it seems that a disproportionate amount of energy goes towards books. Moving the contents of my bookshelf means several loads of heavy boxes going down a flight of stairs and being heaved into a back seat of a car, some to be taken to my new residence, some to be parted with. Before that I have to go through each shelf, sorting, making decisions about the fate of each book.

Interspersed among my books are notebooks of old sermon notes and journals. As I was going through things before moving last month I found a page from an old notebook. At the top was written "What does it mean to have the Son?" followed by a list of things I and all believers have because of Jesus. I can't recollect why I wrote the list, and I don't know if it came from memory or something I was studying. Either way, it made me pause wondering why I tend to be anxious; in light of all I have in Him my anxiety looks pretty foolish. Here's some of what was on the list (it's…